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Navigating the New Top-Up Training Requirements for Close Protection Operatives

12th May 2023
In this Article


Starting from October 1st 2022, all individuals who hold a close protection licence will be required to obtain a first aid certificate and complete the new top-up training prior to renewing their licence.

In light of this recent government update, this comprehensive guide will help close protection operatives understand the new top-up training and first aid qualification requirements. 

We will discuss the key components of the top-up qualification, the benefits of staying up to date with industry standards and provide useful tips for renewing your licence. Additionally, we will explore the option for close protection operatives to renew their licence as door supervisors, and help you make an informed decision for your career.

Understanding the New Top-Up Training Requirements for Close Protection Operatives

Components of the top-up qualification

Principles of Terror Threat Awareness in the Private Security Industry

This module is about understanding the role of the operator in the event of a terror threat occurring. This is covered by completing the ACT (Action Counter Terrorism) awareness e-Learning package before the course start date - a link will be sent through when the course has been booked.

Principles of Working as a Door Supervisor for Close Protection Operatives in the Private Security Industry

This module is about the role of the door supervisor and the behaviours required to perform the role as required within the scope of the integrated licence. The delegate will be provided with a pre-course workbook that has to be completed before the course start date.

Application of Physical Intervention Skills in the Private Security Industry

When working in the private security industry there will be a requirement to use physical intervention skills. During the course you will be taught non-pain compliant restrictive and non-restrictive intervention skills before moving onto the physical intervention skills required for close protection. 

Application of Physical Intervention Skills for Close Protection Operatives in the Private Security Industry

There are many forms of physical intervention required within the close protection environment, one of these is non-pain compliant intervention that supports a soft skills approach. These skills will be practised as individuals and as part of a team.


Assessment is through four externally set assessment exams (multichoice question papers) and two internal practical assessments.

Aligning skill sets with updated close protection qualifications

The integration of door supervisor related units into the close protection (CP) qualifications has been somewhat controversial within the industry due to some CP roles having never being exposed to, or needing to work within, environments generally considered as “entertainment or hospitality”. However, certainly within the UK, it is not unusual for a close protection operative (CPO) to be indirectly involved in a situation where the principal is attending a licensed premises. 

With the Door Supervisor (DS) and Close Protection (CP) Licence now being integrated it is important that those with a CP licence have the skill required to operate in the DS space.

Impact on licence renewal process

Your SIA licence does not renew automatically, and you must apply for a renewal if you want to keep working in your role in close protection. 

You are not guaranteed a licence just because you already have one. In the case of close protection there has been a change in the criteria for licences granted before October 2022 and there is a requirement to complete the top-up course.

Tips for Licence Renewal and Training Options

If you hold a close protection licence and only intend to work in the door supervisor environment, you may only want to complete the door supervisor top up course and apply for the door supervisor licence. This will save both time and money, however, if you want to retain your close protection licence you will have to complete the close protection top-up course. 

Why Choose HZL?

The HZL delivered top up course has to date received very positive feedback from CP operators that work in a variety of roles, ranging from high wealth clients to those working in hostile environments.

The HZL approach is one of peer learning. The operators on the course have a vast amount of experience in de-escalating confrontational situations using both soft and hard skills. We harness this through group discussions and practical application, so we are identifying best practice throughout.


There are a lot of comments about the CP top-up, CP-PI and the integration of the CP and DS licence. There is a strong argument that if you want to work in either of these disciplines then the relevant course should be taken, and the licence applied for, which on face value makes sense.

However, there are many operators who work in both areas, and in some cases, there may even be a crossover. There is also the cost of obtaining the licence for both qualifications if they were not integrated. The decision has been made and we are where we are, therefore, it is a requirement for those who hold only the CP licence to up skill to obtain the required DS skills. 

When it comes to the Physical Intervention (PI) for both the DS and CP there are again many views and discussion points. In both cases the PI is non-pain compliant. Non-pain compliant PI in most cases is an extension of conflict management and is aimed at those who are not intent on using force. If used correctly it can diffuse a situation and if need be, used to deflect a situation or guide an individual to an area outside the conflict zone. 

This applies to both the DS and CP role, there is a crossover between the DS-PI and the CP-PI. The DS-PI is aimed at the licenced premises and night-time economy. The CP-PI, apart from a few outcomes, are skills that are likely to have been covered during the skills and drills and practical exercises of a well-run CP course. Therefore, the CP-PI is at best a revision on skill fade and at worst teaching a set of required skills. 

The CP-PI is not about teaching the operator how to fight, but to risk manage a situation that involves the requirement for the first stages of a graduated response that could escalate but can just as easily be de-escalated or avoided. However, there are situations where use of force is required, and the response should always be within the rule of law.

 If the threat or risk management plan has identified this, then the correct measures should be in place with a workable decision-making model as part of the operation plan. Whatever your thoughts you have to be compliant with the most recent industry requirements.


What is the purpose of the new top-up training for close protection operatives?
The purpose of the new top-up training is to ensure that close protection operatives are up-to-date with the latest industry standards and requirements, including first aid certification. This training also covers the integration of door supervisor-related units into the close protection qualifications, helping operatives develop the necessary skills to work in both roles effectively.
Is it necessary for me to complete the top-up training if I already have a close protection licence?
Yes, starting from October 1st, 2022, all individuals holding a close protection licence must complete the new top-up training and obtain a first aid certification before they can renew their licence. This is a requirement set by the government to keep the industry standards up-to-date and ensure the safety of both the operatives and the public.
Can I renew my close protection licence as a door supervisor?
Yes, if you hold a close protection licence and only intend to work as a door supervisor, you can complete the door supervisor top-up course and apply for a door supervisor licence instead. This option can save you both time and money, but if you want to retain your close protection licence, you will need to complete the close protection top-up course.
What is the assessment process for the top-up training?
The assessment for the top-up training consists of four externally set assessment exams (Multi Choice Question exam) and two internal practical assessments. These assessments will evaluate your understanding of the course content and your ability to apply the skills learned in real-life situations.
Why should I choose HZL for my top-up training?
HZL is a reputable training provider with positive feedback from close protection operators who have completed the top-up course. Their approach focuses on peer learning, group discussions, and practical applications to identify best practices within the industry. By choosing HZL, you can ensure that you receive high-quality training that is in line with the latest industry requirements.
Check out our Top-up Course
Don't miss the opportunity to enhance your skills and stay ahead in the close protection industry with our comprehensive top-up course. Discover how HZL can help you master the latest requirements and techniques, ensuring you remain a valuable and sought-after professional in the field.